The NFL made a rule change this offseason that will allow teams to have an emergency third quarterback not count against the game-day roster. There is a catch, though, as the QB3 has to be on the active roster in order to not count against the game-day roster (practice squad elevations will count against the game-day roster).
Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton was asked about the new rule after the team kicked off organized team activities last week.
“The rule changes — I know with the quarterbacks — if you carry three [QB] on your 53 [man roster], you get a [third on] game day,” Payton said on May 25. “Let’s say what happened to San Francisco was a once-in-every-seven-year occurrence.
“Each team will then have to decide if they want to continue to have two and get an additional player other than a quarterback on their 53. Everyone has three in the building — a lot of times on the practice squad. I think team-by-team, it will vary.”
Based purely on Payton’s comment about the 49ers incident being a rare occurrence, one might be led to believe the coach is still planning to only carry two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in 2023.
Payton usually kept two true QBs on the active roster while with the New Orleans Saints, but having Taysom Hill available as an emergency QB might have impacted the team’s roster construction.
It remains to be seen if the Broncos will carry two or three QBs on the 53-man roster in 2023, but the league’s new rule will give the team more roster flexibility for whatever decision Payton makes.